Childhood Obesity: Watching TV Is Worse For Children Than A Sedentary Lifestyle

Childhood Obesity: Watching TV Is Worse For Children Than A Sedentary Lifestyle

According to a recent Australian study, kids watching TV is leading to childhood obesity more than any other sedentary lifestyle habit. As the scientists revealed, sitting down and watching TV is even more harmful to children than playing computer or mobile games.

The scientists from the University of South Australia analyzed the data gathered from 234 Australian children aged 10 to 13 years, out of which 130 were normal-weighed, while 104 were obese. The researchers surveyed several sedentary lifestyle habits in these kids, including watching television, playing video games, using a computer, sitting down to eat, or traveling in a car, and they found out that, between all them, watching TV is the worst.

“It’s no surprise that the more inactive a child is, the greater their risk of being overweight. But not all sedentary behaviors are created equal when it comes to children’s weight. This research suggests that how long children spend sitting may be less important than what they do when they are sitting,” said Dr. Margarita Tsiros, the study’s leading author.

Watching TV Is The Leading Sedentary Lifestyle Habit That Cause Childhood Obesity

“For instance, some types of sitting are more strongly associated with body fat in children than others, and time spent watching TV seems to be the worst culprit. Boys not only watched more TV than girls – an extra 37 minutes per day – but also spent significantly more time playing video games. Video gaming and computer use are popular past times, but our data suggest these activities may be linked with higher body fat in boys,” added Dr. Tsiros.

Besides, the new study also found out that boys who sit down for more than 30 minutes are the most exposed to higher body fat index. Accordingly, it would be much more significant for the parents to come up with stricter watching TV screen time for their boys than for girls. Nonetheless, both sexes are affected by watching TV.

“Children who are obese have an increased risk of developing serious health disorders, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. They may also experience reduced well-being, social and self-esteem issues, along with pain and difficulties with movement and activity. By understanding children’s sedentary behaviors – especially those that are placing our kids at risk – we’ll ensure they stay on a better path towards a healthier weight,” concluded Dr. Tsiros.


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